Devotions on Emotions (and Scripture) by the First Pres. Pastors
A reflection on Exodus 3 & 4
The dictionary defines “insecure” as deficient in assurance, beset by fear and anxiety, and not confident and sure. When I think of “insecure”, one of the first Biblical characters that comes to mind is Moses. I’m not talking about the Charlton Heston image of Moses; warning of plagues, commanding Pharaoh to let God’s people go, and parting the Red Sea. Instead, I think of the call story of Moses. A story highlighted by excuses and pleading with God for a different plan.
When you have some time, I invite you to read chapters 3 and 4 of Exodus. For now, I’ll give you a quick summary: Moses has fled Egypt and is now enjoying life out in the countryside working for his father-in-law, Jethro. Upon investigating a burning bush, God calls out to Moses. He instructs Moses that he is on holy ground and explains the identity of who is talking to him in the bush. From there, God tells Moses that He is sending him to Egypt to release the Israelites from the bondage of Pharaoh.
Moses replies with a number of questions and excuses:
Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?
What if they do not believe me or listen to me?
What if they say ‘the Lord did not appear to you’?
I’m not that great of a speaker, I am slow of speech and tongue.
Please send someone else.
God repeatedly assures Moses that He will be with him and that the elders of the Israel will listen to him. God even gives him signs to prove that he is a messenger of God. Still, Moses looks for a way out and questions why it should be him. God eventually gets angry with Moses and meets him halfway with the plan to have his brother, Aaron, help with speaking to the people. Moses seems to finally get it and answers God’s call.
Like several other call stories in the Bible, Moses’ response to God’s call reflects his insecurities. He is insecure about his own abilities. He is unsure if he has what it takes to carry out God’s plan of redemption and freedom for the Israelites. I would imagine his insecurity is also bolstered by his fear of what will happen when he goes back to Egypt.
I wonder about the times in our lives when we let our insecurities, our fears, our uncertainties keep us from answering God’s call to action. Maybe it isn’t a call as significant as this encounter with a burning bush, but God calls us every day to be His hands, feet, and voice in the world. We are repeatedly called to love our neighbor. What are your insecurities when it comes to serving God? What excuses do you give to avoid doing what God is calling you to do?
Faithful God, strengthen us to recognize the good gifts You have given us. Thank You for equipping us as Your servants to carry out Your loving work in this world. Empower us with Your Spirit to be grateful for those gifts and faithfully respond to Your love and persistent call. Amen.